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Sustainability

Green roofs are a cost-effective way to retain rainwater

May 12, 2011
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NEW YORK — Green roofs like the one atop a Con Edison building in Long Island City can be a cost-effective way to keep water from running into sewer systems and causing overflows, according to a press release.

The Con Edison Green Roof, which is home to 21,000 plants on a quarter acre of The Learning Center, retains 30 percent of the rainwater that falls on it, the release stated.

According to the release, if New York City''s one billion square feet of roofs were transformed into green roofs, it would be possible to keep more than 10 billion gallons of water a year out of the city sewer system.

"The information we are collecting from Con Edison''s roofs is invaluable in helping us determine the costs and benefits of green infrastructure projects," said Stuart Gaffin, research scientist at Columbia University''s Center for Climate Systems Research.

"Without solid data from experiments like this, it is impossible for us to know which projects are the best options for protecting the environment," Gaffin added.

Click here to read the complete release.

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